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Stuck in a Pattern (Our Life Story)

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Stuck in a Pattern (Our Life Story)

Postby MakersDozn » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:59 am

[Trigger warning for very brief mention of SA (no details) and very brief mention of hospital--two very small parts of a very long post.]

We have a few who are stuck in a pattern of feeling hopeless. They carry the pain of our past and live in it as if the past were still in the present. After many disappointments in life, they have either lost hope or have never found hope in the first place. They are convinced because of the depth of our hurt and the choices we have made, things will never get better for us. And no matter how unbearable their pain is, they hold onto it with every ounce of effort, because to them moving forward into the unknown risks an even greater hurt than they now experience.

This has been going on for four or five years now. It affects more than just the system members in question; it drags us all down, and it makes our quality of life miserable. Outsiders would say that we have a good life - a job in Manhattan that pays well, financial stability, reasonably good health, and family we get along with. But this is by no means a complete picture.

Our parents were young and inexperienced. Our mother was multiple and didn't even know it. Our parents tried hard and succeeded in a number of ways, but they also made a number of mistakes. We never got the nurturing we needed from our mother, and we needed a great deal of it. We went from being a very insecure child to an insecure, depressed, angry adolescent to an insecure, depressed, angry adult. We attended the college that our mother attended because we had no idea what to do with ourselves. We transferred schools and moved three hours away for the latter two years. We changed our major twice and our minor three times. We graduated with a completely useless degree and no marketable skills.

It was the mid-80s. We had no idea what do do with our life. We went from one temp job to another while (some of us) were dreaming of working in Manhattan. We saw this as some kind of status symbol--wearing a trenchcoat, carrying a briefcase and a cup of coffee, and riding the commuter train. Surely this would mean that we were somebody.

After about four years of dead-end clerical jobs, we finally tried our luck in the Manhattan job market. We couldn't type to save our life; we had printed all our college papers by hand. It took us eight weeks to complete a two-week typing course, and even then we were terrible at it. Yet somehow we landed an administrative job in a very well-known nonprofit. And we stayed there.

This was the beginning of our awakening.

(continued)

-- Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:59 pm --

(part deux)

We plodded along at work and spent our spare time in community theater, mainly working as a stagehand. Looking back a number of years later, we realized that some of us were frustrated artists and performers, and this was their questionably successful way of pursuing their dream. Others pursued religion, something we lacked in childhood because our mother opposed it. In the context of our theater group, we had an unspeakably triggering experience that nearly destroyed us, and it was our religious friends that got us through it. Going through a formal process with these friends was something that some of us wanted dearly and others opposed, but we went through it anyway, because it seemed like this was the only good thing in our life.

After the SA, it took us about five years to feel human again. By that time we realized that we not only hated our job, we hated the commuting and the whole Manhattan experience. But we saw ourselves as having few options. We could quit our job and risk poverty and homelessness, or we could continue working at a job and a lifestyle that made us miserable. We chose the latter. As one theater friend once said, "It's lonely at the top, but you eat better."

It was about that time that we discovered the Internet and bought our first computer, a Dell with 4MB of RAM and a 1GB hard drive. The Internet of 1995 consisted of CompuServe, AOL, and Prodigy; a vast, reddit-like network of Usenet newsgroups served up any topic a person could think of, from the ridiculously quirky to the unspeakably obscene. We stuck to self-help groups. For those foolish enough to believe that the future of the Internet lay on the Web, the Netscape browser held 70 percent of the market.

We had CompuServe, AOL, *and* a third ISP. It was that fact (and two trips to Disney World in three years) that eventually got us $12,000.00 in debt. Meanwhile, as we continued at the job and the commute that we hated, we found an online group for survivors. We made friends that seemed to understand us. Some of those friends were multiple. This was the next life-changing experience since that awful time in 1989, but it was definitely for the better.

It was then that insiders began to present themselves from within. We went from five at the beginning to 13 several months later when we decided to pick a system name to use on AOL. MakersDozn reperesented the 13 of us; the missing vowel arose from the fact that at the time, AOL had a 10-character limit on screen names. The next few years saw us through a number of ups and downs: abandoning religion, discovering six or seven more insiders per year, locating a therapist who actually knew what she was doing and who helped us, and our one and only hospitalization. The latter was our choice. To solidify our chances of being admitted, we wore a t-shirt that read, "I Do What The Voices In My Head Tell Me To Do."

Fast forward through the building of our own website, the running of several forums and blogs, our abandonment of AOL and CompuServe, successful completion of a debt-relief program and, most importantly, the discovery of everybody in our system by 2003. Our therapist retired a year later, but not before finding us a new therapist first. We're still with the second one. Then four years of medication problems with us finally setting things right and coming out of the fog around 2009.

It was as if a light had been turned on, and we were beginning to see ourselves as we really were. We didn't like a lot of what we saw. We didn't like the way we'd pigeonholed ourselves and each other, and we didn't like the life that we'd carved out for ourselves. We still had the same job, and we still hated it, despite the fact that we'd taken on more responsibility and had been compensated for it. The whole lifestyle still made us tremendously unhappy. And going through the muck of our therapy, plus additional family responsibility, made it even harder for us.

And here we are. Stuck in the same rut we've been stuck in forever. Some of us have hope, but as we said, others don't. It's like a tug-of-war between hope and hopelessness. It results in us seeming to go nowhere, or at most, taking steps that are so maddeningly miniscule that we have to fight to resist giving up.

We don't know if we're ever going to be able to work through this. At times all we can do is simply hang on.

MDs
Multiple. Body 56f, no host or original. System of 47: 42 females, five males; 17 littles (7+under), nine middles/tweens (8-11), 14 teens (12-17+), five bigs (18+older), and a formless yin/yang duo. Oldest member is 25.

Frequent: Charity (25), Mary (23), Laura (17.5), Allegra (17), Cass (17)
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Re: Stuck in a Pattern (Our Life Story)

Postby Journalgirl » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:21 am

Hi. Thank you for sharing your story. It resonates with me through and through. Xoxo
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Re: Stuck in a Pattern (Our Life Story)

Postby Nondescript » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:31 am

I can relate to your story and appreciate you sharing it. I feel stuck, too.

I tried to send you a PM but you have them disabled (which is fine, of course.)
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Re: Stuck in a Pattern (Our Life Story)

Postby MakersDozn » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:40 am

Thank you both. We appreciate your support. We've had some bad experiences with PM and with email, so we stay away from both. In a forum, there are always witnesses. :|

MDs
Multiple. Body 56f, no host or original. System of 47: 42 females, five males; 17 littles (7+under), nine middles/tweens (8-11), 14 teens (12-17+), five bigs (18+older), and a formless yin/yang duo. Oldest member is 25.

Frequent: Charity (25), Mary (23), Laura (17.5), Allegra (17), Cass (17)
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Re: Stuck in a Pattern (Our Life Story)

Postby Nondescript » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:40 am

MakersDozn wrote: We've had some bad experiences with PM and with email, so we stay away from both. In a forum, there are always witnesses. :|
I figured it was something like that.
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